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Readers Respond: Living With Herpes

Responses: 920


Updated November 26, 2011

From the article: Living With Herpes
What is it like living with herpes? It's different for everyone. Some people have symptoms that drive them crazy, while others only know they're infected because of a positive test. What has living with herpes has been like for you? How has it affected your dating life? Your relationship with doctors? Has it changed your image of yourself, or is everything still basically the same as it was before? You'd be surprised at how many people you know are living with herpes and how little it may be changing their lives.

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NOTE: This is a place for stories. Do not post questions here, since there is no way for anyone to answer them. Instead, ask questions in this forum.

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at least i know for sure

I was a 36 yr old virgin and have only been with 2 men since. Always protected. over 2 weeks ago I started running a fever and feeling sick. My vagina was so sore. This came on suddenly Thu. didnt get to doc until Mon. By then was more sore, could barely wipe, and was peeing constant. Also had a heavy yellow discharge. The pain was worst Fri, it hurt to sit and walk. Peeing was torture.I knew what it was, I just knew. Mon thru Wed I had horrible ache in leg. Today, the discharge is gone, the pain is better still having twinges though and hurts less to pee. Have had 2 bumps in vagina for over a week now. Not blisters. Feves stopped 2 days a ago. I have accepted this though. Life is not fair but you take what you're given.
—Guest april

Herpes at 14

I'm 14 and found out yesterday that I have HSV 1. I have a boyfriend but we have never slept together or kissed. We're probably going to kiss soon, but I don't know if I should tell him about my herpes because the chance of him getting it is so small.
—Guest Sarah


I just found out this morning I have herpes 2 and I'm at a lost for words. My heart hurts and I'm drowning in my own tears. Sad day.
—Guest Devastated Guest

living life with herpes

I am 15 years old and was diagnosed with genital herpes 6months ago. Having an STD was my worst nightmare something you think will never happen to you as a student sitting in on a lecture in Sex Ed. I broke down in tears thinking my life is over. Surprisingly after telling my bf of 2months which I was previously sexually active with, he was super supportive we simply got treated and went on with our lives. Today I often forget that I have it and have not broken out since and my bestfriend which I vented to, treats me no differently then before and each day gets easier to deal with, taking medication when needed. My life is normal and I am pretty damn happy. Not what I expected out of livin life with an STD. If there is one thing I would have done differently tho it would be abstinence and waiting for the right time with the right person. Which I believe is my bf today who is the same bf I have been with since my diagnosis. I am very lucky to have an understanding&lovinq bf&group of fr
—Guest Hope_xx98xx_

19 and Copying

I experienced my first herpes outbreak this week. Never would I wish such a horrible disease onto anyone. When I first found out I could not stop crying. I thought how could I have such a horrible disease and not known. I was very paronoid I gave it to my boyfriend of 2 months. Telling him about my herpes I thought was going to be very hard, but he was very caring and willing to go get tested, My aunt is a nurse and I was confiding in her about my symptoms she told me I could still live a normal life with my herpes. She confessed that she as well had herpes made me feel so much better. Never had I know she had it. She lives a complete and normal life. This gives me hope that I to can overcome these herpes and not let them defile my name. Herpes does not make you who you are. You're still a human being who can as well live a happy and normal life. Very blessed to have the family and friends to support me in my time of hardship.
—Guest Young and Dumb

Participation Request

I am conducting a doctoral project on forming romantic relationships following a diagnosis of genital herpes. Interviews can be done over the phone in less than an hour and all research will be anonymous. If you are interested in participating in the study or would like additional information, please contact me at mwhite@forest.edu.
—Guest mwhite014

young love...

I started dating this guy when I was 15, I got tested multiple times while I was with him (2 years) and I was always clean until almost a year of being together, I had an outbreak & I tested positive for herpes. I broke down in tears, I honestly felt my life was over. I was 16. My doctor said you have your first outbreak a month after contracting the virus. I knew I had only slept w/ one person but he claims he didn't know he had it. My doctor said he was a carrier. I'm 18 now & there's days I feel really sad & alone like today, especially because I've met someone I really like, & I feel like I'm going to have to let him go because I can't see anyone wanting to deal with this. I'm afraid he'll think I'm dirty, or something. I didn't have multiple sex partners, I had 1 partner, who I loved very much & was committed to. How do you explain this to someone is the part I'm struggling w/ now. I don't let this define me, i take it as a long life lesson that ill learn to cope with. Stay strong
—Guest B

Life goes on

I have met the man of dream. I've waited and I never gave myself to anyone. I never went on a date until I met him. I met him at the beginning of my college career. I slept with him and before I ever lied down with him I knew someday he will be my husband. A few months later I went to the doctor and found out I had herpes. I asked how do you get herpes. I said," I can't have it." After so many years of waiting And saying no, I have something that's not curable. But I am now happily married and with the man who gave it to me. I don't regret it. He was worth it. I'm sure someone will say you're worth it as well, at first I felt like I will never be the same.Hell, I forget I have it sometimes. I'm still sticking with the morals I've always had. It is a secret kept from a lot people. People tend to judge until they end up with it. Its actually an eye opener.
—Guest life

Losing my v-card only to get herps...

My boyfriend cheated on me without using protection then came and had sex with me without protection. Instead of spending my 18th birthday like a normal teen... I was busy getting tested and treated for herpes symplex 2. You see, I have only ever been with one guy my whole life! He's a guy I've known for many years, so I trusted him. He's a little older and he has a baby girl. He told me all kinds of things that I trusted. I'm still only 18. And I don't know where to go from here. ;(
—Guest Unanimous


It's the stigma that makes it miserable. My son has it. He caught it from one of the kids at his preschool when he was 4. He suffers often from cold sores, has had to be hospitalized twice with rashes that became infected outbreaks on his hand from sucking his thumb, and somehow on his leg from irritating what initially appeared to be a bug bite. Most recently he has been having stints of Bells Palsy which his pediatrician feels is associated. Horrible effects aside, it's the judgements people make that are the worst part.
—Guest Private

Upset but yet grateful on who im with

Hi, my fellow guest....I know you guys are wondering why i'm not very upset with being diagnosed with herpes, well first let me begin...you see six days ago I felt I met the love of my life, I couldn't considered of being with anyone else and surprisingly neither could he! We finally took it to the next step by having sex, but something went wrong I became very sore downstairs and fatigue, I finally got tired of the pain and I called him and asked could he go to the doctor with me and participated and went along. I was so scared and I had all the right to be the doctor looked and immediately stated I had herpes, he was soooo upset but yet after he saw my face covered in tears in held me and told me he wasn't going to leave, he kissed me and comfort me at my most devastating time of life......so yes im upset with the results but with God and my partner I can go on living life, now with a healthy mind set.....yes it will be hard and difficult but I don't have to go through it alone.
—Guest Life Goes On

sharing my story

I met this dude off of a dating service and we had protected sex but he kissed me and after that a couple days later i felt tingling around my mouth and it felt like it was swelling and i feel little bumps on the inside of my mouth.
—Guest shay

learning to accept

I learned about six months ago i have this virus, i cried for days, at times i still cry, i get depressed. and hate myself sometimes, i got this frim my ex husband who was constantly unfaithful, but i take my blame too bc i slepr with. him knowing he was cheating, but i am a lucky woman, i am remarried to a wonderful man who knows i have this virus and still loves me, he doesn't have it thank god, and he has been a constant support for me, hopefully one day i will be able to accept everything and not get as depressed as i sometimes do now
—Guest tonya

Wake up call

I'm 22 years old I have had unprotected sex with several men I was always partying and getting drunk, I was naive about STD's and I was more worried about getting pregnant (stupid I know) the truth is that I brought this on myself because I had a negative attitude I was rebellious and always did what I wanted and about a month ago I had sex with a guy and it was rough the next day I was so itchy down there and I noticed sores on my vagina and the worst thing of all is that the next few days I had all these bumps and I got my period :( it was painful!! I went to the Dr after I finished my period and she did the culture, a pap smear, and drew blood at first she said it looked like herpes then she asked me if I was allegic to any condoms or lube I told her no (not that I know of) I am still waiting on my results but I am sure I have genital herpes. I realized my mistakes and I regret them all!! But it has made me a better person I learned to appreciate life, myself, my family, friends and
—Guest Haydee

how did this happen!!

Ive found out today that my partner has, and has probabaly infected me with hsv2.. I am devestated. I love my partner wih all my heart amd do not want to leave her, however, i dont know if i can cope with the resientment and anger i feel towards her. We are both faithful, and have been very safe in the past. We have not be practicing safe sex for the past years as we (belived) we were both clean.
—Guest so scared

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Living With Herpes

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